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UCLA Anderson ($$$) vs. MIT Sloan (no money)

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UCLA Anderson ($$$) vs. MIT Sloan (no money)  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2017, 07:37
I just found out that I got off the waitlist at Sloan! I have a generous scholarship at UCLA and Sloan isn't giving me any money, so I would be funding my education and living expenses all with loans.

My background is in software and I want to work in product management in technology after graduation, particularly at small companies or startups. I also wanted to take a stab at starting my own venture. Will Sloan and the Sloan network be better for my long-term future than Anderson? Sloan graduates seem to go to similar companies in technology as Anderson graduates. I am also from the west coast and hope to stay somewhere along it in the foreseeable future. However, Sloan seems like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I also attended UCLA for undergrad. Anyone know how strong the Sloan network is on the west coast?

Since I just got off the waitlist and wasn't able to attend admit events, I'm having trouble assessing cultural fit. I also wasn't able to meet or talk to many current students during my interview so this a big unknown.

Any help or advice would be appreciated! Have to make this decision really soon. Thanks!
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UCLA Anderson ($$$) vs. MIT Sloan (no money)  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2017, 10:32
Congratulations on your new-found challenge! Great job getting off the WL. Anything you did in particular or they just called out of a blew?

As to your question, what kind of scholarship are you looking at from Anderson? 75% for both years?
P.S. Traditionally schools discourage folks from applying to the same MBA program as the undergrad (diversity thing), so this is a pretty welcome sign that they gave you a nice scholarship to go along. They definitely wanted you to be a part of the program.
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Re: UCLA Anderson ($$$) vs. MIT Sloan (no money)  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2017, 10:43
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bb yea they just called me out of the blue!

I'm looking at around 90% scholarship from Anderson. Also, are you saying that Anderson would usually discourage me from going there since I already went to UCLA as an undergrad? Is it a good thing to go to the same school again/ Anderson and Ucla undergrad seem like two very different experiences. Also, trying to gauge the value of Sloan with a huge financial burden for many years after.
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Re: UCLA Anderson ($$$) vs. MIT Sloan (no money)  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2017, 17:08
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I know you come from a software company, but if your role is far away from the product side of business, Sloan might be better because I've heard that people from Sloan with no tech/technical background can get PM offers because Sloan is on the target company of many tech firms. But if you have a strong tech background and did coding or strategy/biz dev/marketing on the product side, you should get interviews even without Sloan's brand name.

It also depends on the company you're looking to get into. Some firms do care about MBA pedigree to some extent, but as far as I know, the small (startups) to mid-sized (Adobe/Autodesk) don't really care.

I think if you didn't come from tech and wanted to do PM in a tech firm, Sloan is a no-brainer. But in your situation, I highly recommend talking to people from Anderson with your background (make sure they're not a boneheaded homer who shamelessly promotes their school) and learn from their experience. It could save you a lot of money you could be spending elsewhere and yield similar results. I've had friends from non top 10 schools get into major brand names in great positions because their background matches.

With that said, if you're open to recruiting for other fields and/or moving away from the west coast, I think going to Sloan would give you more options.
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Re: UCLA Anderson ($$$) vs. MIT Sloan (no money)  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2017, 19:46
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Congrats to you on two wonderful offers! From what I understand, Sloan grads do appear on the west coast, as is the case with elite schools. I think Wilch brings up a great point in talking to current and past students. The scholarship is very appealing, and so I would personally look for reasons why not to go there before I counted it off.
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Re: UCLA Anderson ($$$) vs. MIT Sloan (no money)  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2017, 03:52
Congrats :)

I know how you struggle between both school. The name of MIT causes burden in the decision process. The almost free ride is a factor to consider in your decision. As I understand in you are in the tech field in west coast so I assume you have established your network in the area which will be a benefit during your study in UCLA. You might have old finical burden from your undergrad. I advise you to open communication with students and career service or pay a visit at least to UCLA to sense the opportunities that both schools can provide and hence establish simple cost-benefit analysis.

Good luck in your mba jouerny
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Re: UCLA Anderson ($$$) vs. MIT Sloan (no money)  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2017, 11:07
Thanks for all of your responses! I have a background working on software product teams and have been able to get interviews with software companies in the past just based on my experience. I want to move into product management, and both schools would allow me to do that.

Since I have very little sense of the culture and I haven't met any current classmates, MIT seems very risky. I like the people I've met at Anderson and feel I could create a strong network there , but have no data points to compare this to at MIT. Maybe I could do the same thing and come out with a better brand? So confused. ?

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UCLA Anderson ($$$) vs. MIT Sloan (no money)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2017, 18:27
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Pineapplesoda711 wrote:
Thanks for all of your responses! I have a background working on software product teams and have been able to get interviews with software companies in the past just based on my experience. I want to move into product management, and both schools would allow me to do that.

Since I have very little sense of the culture and I haven't met any current classmates, MIT seems very risky. I like the people I've met at Anderson and feel I could create a strong network there , but have no data points to compare this to at MIT. Maybe I could do the same thing and come out with a better brand? So confused. ?

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Why dont you reach out to the adcom at MIT and ask them if there are any other events scheduled in the next couple of weeks that you can attend to gauge the culture and your personal fit. Be direct and honest with the fact that you already have a almost full scholarship ride at another top 10 school and that you want to make an informed decision as soon as possible. Call them this week if you feel comfortable that way. If nothing of this sort works and you really want to see what MIT has to offer is to ask if you can attend any of the following events: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/mba/admissions/ ... ns-events/ . If none of this works, reach out to MIT Sloan grads from LinkedIn.

Caveat is that even after putting in so much of an effort to knowing about the culture, you might want to still stick with UCLA. But it will be worth it, IMO, as MIT is a top 5 school.

Let us know how it goes.

Good luck and congrats on multiple admits.
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Re: UCLA Anderson ($$$) vs. MIT Sloan (no money)  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2017, 23:51
Taking into account total costs, you're looking at a $120k difference. Sloan has a better startup ecosystem; a large portion of their MBA students are working on their own ventures, so you'll find a lot of ideas and support there. Anderson is less entrepreneurial, but can still provide a good amount of support, and UCLA and LA in general are full of entrepreneurs that you can connect with. If you have no geographical preference for your next two years, you'll have to make a personal decision yourself if the pedigree and the marginally better support that Sloan would give you are worth $120k in today's money.
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Re: UCLA Anderson ($$$) vs. MIT Sloan (no money) &nbs [#permalink] 10 Aug 2017, 23:51
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